If you’re on the hunt for unique things to do in Jacksonville, Florida, look no further than Secret Tiki Temple. Tucked away in the back of the Pagoda Chinese Restaurant, this place is a hidden oasis that takes you straight to a tropical paradise. The vibe is so chill, thanks to the amazing owner, Tommy Tam, who welcomes everyone like an old friend.
A New Chapter in Tiki History
Secret Tiki Temple is a relatively new addition to Jacksonville’s scene, having opened its doors in 2017. For years, Tommy Tam had been on a quest to collect the most amazing tiki artifacts, carvings, and memorabilia. Once he felt he had gathered enough to create the ultimate tiki paradise, he transformed a private ballroom in the back of the Pagoda Chinese Restaurant into a secret speakeasy-style tiki bar. The result is a captivating hideaway that perfectly marries tiki tradition with a modern twist. When you step through that hidden door, you’re entering Tommy Tam’s love letter to tiki culture.
Atmosphere Like No Other
Picture this: bamboo walls, colorful tiki masks, and twinkling lights, with bird cages and Chinese parasols hanging from the ceiling. Add in the scent of rum and tropical fruits wafting through the air. The music? A perfect blend of island vibes and old-school classics. You’re not just in Jacksonville anymore—you’re in Tiki Paradise.
Get the Inside Scoop at the Bar
Here’s a pro tip: always aim for a seat at the bar. That’s where Tommy and the bartenders spill the secrets about special drinks and share the most entertaining stories. And get this—you can even order a tiki drink served in a spam can! It’s quirky, fun, and a must-try.
On this particular night, Ed Hamilton of Hamilton Rum was visiting and we got introduced by the bartender. Imagine sipping a custom rum cocktail while chit-chatting with the dude who actually made the rum. That’s like hitting the tiki jackpot!
The Unforgettable Drinks of the Secret Tiki Temple
From classics like the Jungle Bird and Zombie, which blend different rums and fruit juices, to unique temple specials like the Tiki’s Horny Panda, there’s a drink for everyone. And don’t forget their twist on the classic Mai Tai, served in a flaming SPAM can for an extra smoky kick! These aren’t just drinks; they’re tropical adventures in a glass that make you feel like you’re on a faraway island. Cheers!
Discover the Secret Menu
If you’re in the know, Secret Tiki Temple offers more than just drinks; they’ve got a secret food menu that takes the tiki experience to the next level. We had the chicken fried rice and SPAM fried rice, and let me tell you, they were delish! The SPAM fried rice even comes served in an actual SPAM can, giving it that extra quirky touch that makes this place so special. Pair these dishes with a tropical cocktail, and you’ve got yourself a tiki feast fit for a king or queen!
The Adventure of Finding this Secret Spot
Secret Tiki Temple is a little hard to find, which only adds to its allure. You won’t see any flashy signs pointing you to this hidden gem. Instead, you’ll need to make your way into the Pagoda Chinese Restaurant. The secrecy makes finally stepping into the vibrant and elaborately decorated tiki bar feel like you’ve discovered a secret treasure!
Take Home a Tiki Memory with Custom Mugs
If you’re a fan of collectible drinkware, you won’t want to miss the chance to purchase one of Secret Tiki Temple’s custom tiki mugs. These aren’t your average mugs; they’re carefully crafted to capture the essence of tiki culture, featuring intricate designs and vibrant colors. It’s like bringing a little piece of your tropical night out back to your own kitchen. So go ahead, sip your morning coffee from a tiki mug and relive the magic of Secret Tiki Temple every day!
The Tommy Tam Touch
Want to know the secret sauce of Secret Tiki Temple? It’s Tommy Tam. This guy is like the friendliest host you’ll ever meet. He was serving drinks and entertaining guests the entire night. Seriously, it’s as if you’ve known him forever. Just like the legendary Don Beach, Tommy knows how to make guests feel super welcome and comfy.
So the next time you’re looking for a super cool experience in Jacksonville, don’t miss Secret Tiki Temple. Trust us; this isn’t just another night out, it’s an unforgettable adventure!